I sit at the computer in the darkness of a winter morning, although the weather feels nothing like winter in the Northeast. We have had higher than normal temperatures and NO SNOW; there will be no White Christmas here this year.
My heart is heavy as we count down the last three days to Christmas. This year has been a year of losses for my family and friends. Death has seemed to touch the lives of so many. As families gather around the table and in the church pews this Christmas, there will be many beloved faces missing. The celebrations and traditions will be the same, but they will be accompanied by grief.
There will also be great joy as new babies have joined the family circles, and engagements and marriages have forged new family relationships. The little ones in our families are filled with dreams of Santa and longed-for gifts under the tree.
My cozy house is filled with beloved decorations. Our little town is beautiful, with its abundance of greenery, lights, and candles in windows. Regardless of the sadness that has faced so many of us this year, Christmas goes on. We carry on our traditions with our missing loved ones in mind and heart, but we still hold true to the traditions.
And so, even as I mourn the losses this year, and long for snowflakes drifting down and blanketing the earth, I look forward to that sacred moment on Christmas Eve, when the church is darkened, and slowly filled with candlelight, as we pass the light from one to another down each row, until everyone holds a lit candle, and voices young and old sing my favorite carol, "Silent Night," as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour.